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Obligation to report test results?

Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

February 13, 2018

 

 

Question:

Am I obligated to report test results to a patient?  

- Jennifer K. 

Answer:

First time for the newsletter - using my patient experience.  Brought my son to the ENT.  Alien mucus rooted in his sinuses.  Culture taken.  I asked when I would receive the results.  I was told I would not receive them unless I called the practice and asked for the doctor.  Next question:  Does the doctor have set office hours when he might be available?  No.  He may get back to you within the few days following.  So, if I don't call, do I get the results?  No. No?  No.  We do not call or notify of results if you do not call.   I have to say, I loved and hated this interaction so.  What liability!?!  What offense?!?  Leads to our question of the day - what obligation is there to report results?  

For our purposes, the easiest place to start for a professional standard is the AMA.  According to accepted AMA Ethics opinion on this topic -

"Patients should be able to be confident that they will receive the results of clinical tests in a timely fashion." 

Who delivers the results can vary.  Many are now alerting electronically.  That's fine.  However, you do have an obligation to notify. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/reporting-clinical-test-results 

#OhManMillennialsDoctors   #WhatisOPMC/OPD? 


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